Mar 6, 2017

MMMM #567 Miserable Media Times + "Alexa: PLEASE get me the weather?"

     Salon, and just about everybody else with a pen or a PC is writing about the media these days:

"In a universe shaped by the blatant untruths and racist fantasies of right-wing media, where Barack Obama’s birthplace was a mystery, the Sandy Hook shootings might have been staged and millions of people who were not obviously suffering from severe mental illness took the Pizzagate “scandal” seriously, the difference between news and fake news comes to seem like a matter of taste or opinion. Edsall quotes Samuel Greene of King’s College London to the effect that the crisis of democracy is not happening because “our information landscape is open and fluid, but because voters’ perceptions have become untethered from reality. . . . Thus, the news we consume has become as much about emotion and identity as about facts.”

                           Read the entire article HERE

(That's Alexa on the right)
 Alexa lives with us now. The voice of the Amazon 'Echo' personal assistant is in millions of homes and I suspect will be in million more over the next year or so, but children who interact with her (OK, it) are becoming less concerned about manners. 

Alexa, aka Amazon's Echo
"Today’s children will be shaped by AI much like their grandparents were shaped by new devices called television. But you couldn’t talk with a TV...
....In 2012, University of Washington researchers published results of a study involving 90 children interacting with a life-size robot named Robovie. Most kids thought Robovie had “mental states” and was a “social being.” When Robovie was shoved into a closet, more than half felt it wasn’t fair. A similar emotional connection is taking hold with Alexa and other assistants, even for parents.
“It’s definitely become part of our lives,” said Emerson’s mother, Laura Labovich, who then quickly corrected herself: “She’s definitely part of our lives.”
     That's from the Toronto Star, one of a number or papers writing about the trend. To test my Alexa I added please to the mix. "Alexa, please play Judy Collins" which she responded as quickly and as accurately as if I had not said please.

[The Monday Morning Media Memo is a regular feature of] Founded 2017. Yes our 10th anniversary is this Fall.

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